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Captured the moment? Now caption the photo!

Captured the moment? Now caption the photo!

by Jerele Lindsey

It’s said that pictures speak a thousand words. Events are shown, emotions are displayed, and magic occurs all without connotation. Especially on networks like Instagram, the picture speaks for itself… right? Wrong!

In a digital world where images of tailored suits, first kisses and ocean sunsets are prevalent, a caption can be the difference between an Instagram post that’s scrolled past and one that’s “liked.” It’s very similar to thrifting: and not every photo is going to be groundbreaking. Sometimes even the perfect filter can’t give your pile of dirty laundry photo added life. It’s up to you to include a caption that helps get that photo the attention it deserves.

Here are a few ways to use captions to your advantage. After all, your pre-club photo really is better than your friend’s. Help people notice it.



Who doesn’t like a little mental sharpness and inventiveness? Look for connections between your photo and a potential caption. Write towards that connection. Make it somewhat discrete so that when the viewer catches on it’s like they’ve solved a little puzzle between the two of you. It’s that “ah-ha” moment that often brings a smile or deeper thought for others — and for you.



The cool thing about imagery is that is leaves a lot open for interpretation. What may seem black and white to one person can be looked upon as arbitrary to another. Use this to your advantage. Put a unique spin on your photos by using a caption that makes a viewer look at your photo with a different lens than what they would have before.


Appropriately using hashtags (#) are essential to getting your photo to the right audience, but don’t over do it! It’s important to try to “#hashtag” your location; especially with businesses and brands. Oftentimes companies use hashtags to support their marketing and use your conversations and experiences to see how they’re doing and how they can improve. Also, hashtags keep people connected at events and special causes such as #Homecoming2013, #OpenMic, #Charlotte, ect. They also serve a great use in increasing your ‘likes’ and followers.



While we all like to believe that every photo we snap is frame-worthy, the reality is that it’s often been done before. Morning coffee before work? Been there. Bathroom Mirror ‘Outfit of the Day’ pic? Done that. Give frequently-captured moments your own flare with a caption that plays up a fun side of the photo.



Sometimes a picture does enough talking on its own. However, a little explanation or specificity can still provide that extra boost. Captions that emphasize a point in your photo help to provide clarity while also giving context to an already amazing snapshot.


Do you put effort into your instagram captions? Share your thoughts and keep the conversation going using hashtag #jcaurelius #kontrolmag

Jerele Lindsey is a freelance writer and multi-media journalist based in Charlotte, NC. For more on him,  follow @NlabelsNlove on Twitter and Instagram as well as


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